Kansas Seeking Sixth Straight Win in Men's Hoops Saturday Against Rhode Island
Dec. 29, 2006
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No. 9/10 Kansas concludes its four-game home stand and the calendar 2006 season by playing host to Rhode Island (7-6). The Jayhawks have won five straight games, matching their season-long winning streak. KU defeated Detroit 63-43 Thursday. URI is 1-3 in road games this season and lost at Ohio 97-69 on Wednesday.
Ninth-ranked Kansas is outscoring opponents 77.3 to 57.2. Ten of the Jayhawks’ 11 have been by 10 points or more with eight of those by 18-plus points. The Jayhawks led the nation in field goal percentage defense last year at 37 percent and opponents are shooting 37.1 percent this season. Kansas is outrebounding foes 39.8 to 31.9. Sophomore guard Brandon Rush leads the team in scoring at 13 points per game. Freshman forward Darrell Arthur is next at 12.6 points per contest and has come off the bench the last six games. He leads KU with 28 blocked shots and is second on the team in rebounding with a 5.6 average. Sophomore guard Mario Chalmers has put up back-to-back 22-point efforts to improve his scoring average to 12.3 points per game. Chalmers leads the team with 23 three-pointers, one ahead of Rush, and adds 33 steals. Sophomore forward Julian Wright is scoring 11.5 points per game and paces Kansas with 8.1 rebounds per contest. Wright has 23 blocked shots and 18 steals this season. Juniors Russell Robinson and Sasha Kaun round out the starters. Robinson has a 6.8 scoring average and leads the team with 65 assists. Kaun is scoring 5.1 points per game and has 14 blocked shots. Arthur, along with junior Darnell Jackson and freshman Sherron Collins, are KU’s top reserves. Jackson averages 7.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, while Collins is scoring 7.1 points and is making 42.1 percent from three-point range.
About Rhode Island
Rhode Island (7-6) is looking to bounce back from a 97-69 loss at Ohio Wednesday. The Rams have lost to two of Kansas’ 2006-07 opponents. URI fell at Boston College 86-68 on Nov. 25 and to DePaul 89-81 on Dec. 16. Rhode Island is scoring 78.7 points per game and giving up 79.5. The Rams are shooting 45.5 percent from the field, including 42.9 percent from behind the three-point arc. Junior forward Will Daniels leads the team in scoring with 16.6 points per game and field goal percentage at 54.9 percent. Sophomore guard Jimmy Baron, son of head coach Jim Baron, is next in scoring at 15.5 points per game and leads URI with 40 three-pointers in 13 contests. Sophomore forward Khiem Seawright is scoring 11.5 points per game and leads URI with 8.5 rebounds per outing and 15 steals. Junior guard Parfait Bitee leads the team with 45 assists on the season to go along with a 7.5 scoring average.
This series is tied at 1-1 with both games being playing during the 1990s. Kansas defeated Rhode Island 73-60 on Dec. 29, 1993, at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo. Four seasons later, Rhode Island defeated Kansas 80-75 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City.
Kansas starts 2007 on the road at South Carolina on Jan. 7 to close out its non-conference schedule. The game will tip at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised on CBS. KU then returns home to open Big 12 play against nationally-ranked Oklahoma State Jan. 10 at 8 p.m. That game will be televised by ESPN.